Rocky Fork School, 1891-1949

ROCKY FORK SCHOOL 1891-1949 was built in the central part of Rocky Fork community in District 4. It was on the north side of Rocky Fork Road, west of the intersection with Almaville Road, and near the intersection of the Del Thomas Road.

On August 26, 1905, W.A. Hall and wife Rilla deeded a lot to School Trustees J. H. Coleman, Emerson Hodge, and R. H. Bennett. At that time the schoolhouse was already standing on what had been part of the Shelton Tract but no deed had been made. On January 16, 1914, Rilla Hall and the same School Trustees signed a deed to the Rutherford County Board of Education withdrawing restrictions formerly made that the building be used only as a school.

Rock Fork School,1914-1938. Classes were held downstairs. The Odd Fellows Lodge, chartered April 25, 1914, closed in 1928, met upstairs. (photo compliments of W.K. Hoover)

The first building was a one-room, one-teacher, frame school. In 1914 the building was reconstructed with two rooms downstairs for the school and one large room upstairs for the Odd Fellows Lodge. A staircase to the upper floor was on the outside of the building. Students sometimes used the upper floor and its piano to practice for plays. In 1937 ROCKY FORK SCHOOL was torn down by NYA labor as a government project and a new frame building was built on the same site.

Teachers in the one-teacher school, 1891-1914, were Jennie Nichols Bennett, the first teacher, Emma Turner King, Sue Beesley, Lillie Kerr, Helen Jordan in 1902, Bessie Hooper, Kate Ellis, Minnie Maggie Floyd in 1911, and Mrs.
Ridley Robinson. In the two-teacher school were Daisy Adams Wray and Callie Mai Coleman Lee in 1914-1916, and Bessie Cartwright anc1 CallieMai Coleman Lee in 1916-1917. Other teachers were Bessie Dement and Willie Pearl Prater, Ersel Lee Tanner Tucker, Fannie Dement Epps and Mary Kelton Carter, T. Kelton Jones, Bessie Wright Moore, Katherine Williamson,
Lelia Duggin Epps, Lavonia Lee, Christine Couch, Sue Becton, Lillian and Mildred Bean, T. Kelton Jones, Thelma Coleman Davis, Lucy Holloway, Carmon Campbell, Thomas Gregory, Marvin Scales, Alma Mann, Jewel Beavers, Louisa Goodman, Sara Bell McDonald, Rebecca Tune, Miss McLean, Mary Bell Shipp, and Ruby Goodman Woods. Teachers from 1945-1949, when it was again a one-teacher school, were Jewell Harris Lee and
Pauline Hale Adkerson.

ROCKY FORK was an eight-grade school until 1945. From 1914-1945, it was a two-teacher school with primary grades 1-4 and upper grades 5-8. The upper grade teacher was usually the principal. From 1945-1949, the school had one teacher and grades 1-6.

The last Rocky Fork School is present day Giles Creek Baptist Church (1985)

The school closed in 1949. On March 1, 1965, the Rutherford County School Commission sold the property at auction to Trustees of the Mt. View Baptist Church who resold it on September 24, 1969 to Trustees of the Giles Creek Baptist Church. The building has been remodeled and Sunday School rooms have been added. Services are still held in 1986. SOURCES: Deed Book 45, p. 585; Book 56, p. 483; Book 159, p. 254; Book 192, p. 108. *Louise Wheeler Hilliard. *Callie Mai Coleman Lee. Interviews, Oct. 25, 1985, with Nettie King Coleman, b. 1899, a student in the one-room school; Sept. 11, 1984, with Mable Batey Blair, student 1917-1926; Dec. 5, 1984, with James Webb, whose home is across from the building. “Rocky Fork Outlines Objectives,” The Daily News Journal, Nov. 7, 1948, p. 6.

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